To take care of our liver it is not enough to limit the consumption of alcohol. In fact, there are other lifestyles that can damage this vital gland. So let's try to understand two habits that can save the liver from tumors, fibrosis and cirrhosis, based on two recent scientific studies. The first research was published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal by an Irish team (Jordao et al, UEG Journal, 2019), the second in the Journal of Hepatology by Dutch scientists (Alferink et al, Journal of Hepatology, 2017).
If you take care of oral hygiene, you also protect the liver
The first habit to save the liver is to take care of your oral hygiene. Treating gingivitis, periodontitis, preventing cavities, brushing your teeth regularly and correctly are moves that make us healthier, not only in the mouth but also in the entire body. Previous studies had already brought to light the link between poor oral hygiene and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack and diabetes. The first study we're talking about today showed that poor oral hygiene is also associated with an increased risk of liver cancer. The study was carried out on a sample of 469628 volunteers, whose health and lifestyle data, in particular oral hygiene, were known. The analysis revealed that there is no link between poor oral hygiene and tumors of the gastric tract while this link exists with liver tumors. The causes are not yet clear but it is hypothesized that poor oral hygiene increases the levels of inflammation, which in turn raises the risk of cellular degeneration. Not only that, bacteria can form in the mouth which, it seems, play a role in the formation and development of some tumors, such as that of the liver.
Tea and coffee against liver fibrosis
The second healthy habit is not to miss coffee, tea and herbal teas throughout the day. In fact, stopping for a cup of coffee or a cup of tea is not only an ideal time to disconnect from daily stress and recharge your batteries, but also protects the liver from the risk of fibrosis and cirrhosis. The scientists drew on data from a huge, ongoing study called the Rotterdam Study. Among all the participants, 2424 volunteers were selected, all adults over 45 years old, whose data regarding liver health and the habit of consuming coffee, tea, black or green, or herbal teas were known. What emerged is that the habit of drinking coffee and any type of tea or herbal tea frequently and regularly, even in small quantities, has shown a protective action on the liver. This protective action was evaluated through the degree of stiffness of the liver, which indicates the amount of fibrosis, that is, of scar tissue no longer able to perform any function. Fibrosis can then lead to liver cirrhosis. Those who have the habit of drinking tea and coffee have a lower degree of rigidity, and therefore of fibrosis, than those who do not have this habit. This beneficial action has also been observed in the presence of fatty liver. The protection mechanism is still unclear but it is believed that it is due to the important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties contained in these drinks.
Here are two liver-saving habits, which however are also health-saving in general. In fact, taking care of your oral hygiene, brushing your teeth correctly, using dental floss and / or pipe cleaner, practicing oil pulling, as described in previous articles, and carrying out regular checks protects the liver, the heart and helps reduce the risk of diabetes. Tea and coffee are antioxidant, anticancer and neuroprotective and from today, we know, also hepatoprotective. In short, there are not only actions or foods that can damage health, but others that can protect it or even reverse the processes of degeneration and loss of function of key organs such as the liver.